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Nobody likes talking about or thinking about funerals. In fact, I used to be terrified of funerals. I remember around 8 years ago, an elderly lady down my road passed away. And I had to plan my day around the time of her funeral because I was so terrified of seeing her coffin and the hearse. Which seems ridiculous to me now but that’s just an example of the effect the thought of funerals had on me once upon a time.
But in August last year, my Granddad passed away after a short but brutal battle with lung cancer. It was expected and we all knew it was coming – it was just a matter of how long. It could have been weeks or months but my Granddad being as strong as an Ox, it ended up being months. But the battle got too hard for him and he passed away in August.
His funeral took place on 22nd August and I can hands down say it was one of the loveliest affairs. I know that sounds really odd, considering I’m talking about a funeral. But I’ve been to a fair few funerals and admittedly some are worse than others and there’s a variety of different reasons why that could be.
The service was in a lovely little chapel. The flowers were perfect. The service was perfect. Everything was just perfect. It was exactly as my Granddad would have wanted it. The minister even wore a Tottenham scarf for the duration of the service because that’s the football team my Granddad supported.
We’re all going to need to consider funeral care at some point. So it’s important to get it right, from reputable places, such as Heart of England Funeral Care. And I know you can NEVER say arranging a funeral is completely stress free. But there are definitely things you can do to make the process kinder on yourself and the loved ones involved.
Make sure you’re all on the same page
Chances are, you’ll be planning a funeral with other members of your family. Perhaps siblings or a parent. It can be so easy to trip over each other. So making sure everyone is on the same page right from the get go is really important for planning a stress free funeral.
Honor any wishes they’ve already laid out
The best way to avoid arguments when funeral planning is by honoring the wishes of the deceased that they might have laid out before they passed. Sometimes, the living just can’t make a damn decision, can they? So listen to the deceased instead. It’s their day.
Give guests enough notice
There’s likely going to be a number of people that will want to come to the funeral that you’re planning so it’s important to give them enough notice so they can make the appropriate arrangements so they’re able to come and pay their respects. The last thing you want is people missing out because you didn’t let them know.
Pre-plan (if possible)
Obviously not always possible, depending on the cause of death. But if you have a situation similar to ours with my Granddad, it might be an option to start pre-planning. I know it’s not nice to do or even think about doing. And some people just emotionally won’t be able to do this and that’s perfectly okay. But if you’re able, then this is a great way to ensure you have a stress free funeral for your loved one.
Host the reception somewhere convenient
Somewhere perhaps close to the cemetery or central as opposed to in the middle of nowhere and somewhere that’s hard to find. Just to make it as easy as possible for everyone involved. We had my Granddad’s wake in the pub near the crematorium. We hired out a whole section, had a buffet, tea and coffee and a nice little intimate area for family to sit and chat.
That’s just a few tips to help you plan a stress free funeral. Like I said, no funeral is completely stress free but there’s always something you can do to make it go a bit more smoothly. I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.
The information in this post is going on my personal experience of a standard Christian funeral. I understand and respect that other religions may have procedures which differ to those I've mentioned in this post.